Japan's consumer prices fell 0.4 percent year-on-year in April, official data showed Friday as the government struggles to pull the world's third largest economy out of years of deflation.
The reading, which excludes volatile prices of fresh food, was in line with a forecast by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and the Nikkei.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to pull Japan out of 15 years of deflation with active government spending, which he argues will kickstart the economy and eventually lead to higher pay for workers.
The Bank of Japan has unveiled massive monetary easing steps under new governor Haruhiko Kuroda. He has pledged to achieve a two percent inflation target in two years.
Deflation is bad for the economy because it encourages consumers to put off spending in the belief their intended purchases will be cheaper in the future, softening demand and hurting producers.
A separate survey from the internal affairs ministry on Friday showed Japan's jobless rate stayed flat at 4.1 percent in April, the lowest level since November 2008 and in line with economists' forecasts.